4 Retired Numbers of the Quebec Nordiques
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4 Retired Numbers of the Quebec Nordiques

Through their rich, but short, history in the World Hockey Association and the National Hockey League, the Quebec Nordiques retired the numbers of four great hockey players. Since moving to Denver and becoming the Colorado Avalanche, the franchise has dishonoured the four and put them back into circulation.

The Quebec Nordiques retired the jersey numbers of four truly great hockey players. Two of the four played a huge part in the Nordiques success in the World Hockey Association and the other two played a major role with the team in the National Hockey League. Just as the Carolina Hurricanes have returned to circulation the numbers previously retired by the Hartford Whalers, the Colorado Avalanche have done the same to these four numbers retired by Quebec.

quebec nordiques wha nhl hockey logoJ.C. Tremblay was an NHL veteran, having played with the Montreal Canadiens from 1959-60 to 1971-72, when he jumped ship to play in the WHA. Tremblay was a Quebec Nordique throughout the entire history of the WHA, from 1972-73 until the end of 1978-79. Instead of returning to the NHL when the Nordiques joined the league for the 1979-80 season, Tremblay chose to retire.

From the blue line, Tremblay led the WHA in assists in 1972-73 with 75 and 1975-76 with 77. He will forever be the player with the second most assists in WHA history with 358. Quebec retired his number 3 after his retirement.

Marc Tardif was the second overall pick in the 1969 NHL Amateur Draft, going to the Montreal Canadiens. After some success in the NHL, Tardif made the move to the WHA for the 1973-74 season and started with the Nordiques in 1974-75. He played with Quebec for the duration of the WHA’s life then played an additional four years with the NHL version of the team.

Marc is the all-time leading goal scorer in WHA history with 316, bolstered by a 71 goal performance in 1975-76 and an impressive 65 goal showing in 1977-78. He twice led the league in scoring, 1975-76 with 148 points and 1977-78 with 154. The 154 is a single season WHA record. He was selected as league MVP in both those seasons. His number 8 was retired by the team.

Michel Goulet played one year in the WHA but not with the Nordiques. In 1978-79, Goulet spent a season with the Birmingham Bulls. He was drafted by the NHL Nordiques 20th overall in the 1979 draft. He played with Quebec until being traded to the Chicago Black Hawks during the 1989-90 season. He retired a Black Hawk after 1993-94.

Goulet had four consecutive 50+ goal seasons with the Nordiques starting in 1982-83. He topped out at 57 goals in the first of the four seasons. His 548 career regular season NHL goals currently leave him sitting 27th all-time. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1998 and his number 16 was retired by Quebec.

Peter Stastny played with the Nordiques from 1980-81 until a trade sent him to the New Jersey Devils during the 1989-90 season. He retired after 1994-95. Peter won the Calder Memorial Trophy in 1981 as the league’s top first year player, recording 109 points.

In seven of his nine full seasons in Quebec, Stastny recorded over 100 points in seven. He is one of only seven NHL players to record 100 points in six or more consecutive seasons. He is also one of just four NHL players to total over 1000 points in the 1980’s. Peter was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1998 and the IIHF Hall of Fame in 2000. His number 26 was retired by the Nordiques.

It is unfortunate that when the Nordiques were relocated to Denver to become the Colorado Avalanche that the numbers of these greats were not still honoured. Afterall, the location changed but the heritage remained.

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